Second International Day for Women in Seafaring is celebrated worldwide Ship’s crew

The United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced today thought its second International Day for Women in Seafaring. The day, observed on May 18th, underscores the crucial role of collaboration and networking in achieving gender equality in the maritime sector.

IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim highlighted the role women play in the maritime industry both on land and at sea, supporting the shift towards a decarbonised, digitalised and more sustainable future. However, he pointed to a significant gender imbalance that needs to be addressed more quickly and highlighted the industry-wide benefits of diversity in the workforce.

“This year’s theme underscores the importance of collaboration and networking for gender equality in the maritime sector,” said Lim. “The Women in Maritime Associations established by the IMO are an example of such networks, paving the way for women in the maritime world and inspire the next generation to join the maritime industry.”

Lim also celebrated the day as a tribute to the many women who work across the maritime industry, from navigators and engineers to CEOs and government officials. He stressed the importance of promoting the recruitment, retention and continued employment of women in the industry.


The IMO is marking the occasion with a two-day conference at its headquarters in London, UK. Several other organizations and companies from the maritime sector also shared their support and commitment.

The mission for seafarers written down The greater representation of women in the UK, with an almost 50/50 gender balance among staff and a predominantly female leadership team. Tomi Toluhi, Chief Operation Officer at Mission to Seafarers, expressed a desire to see more chaplains and ship visitors around the world.

The International Transport Workers’ FederationThe International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the World Shipping CouncilThe British Maritime and Coastguard AuthorityPrincess Cruises and Transportation Canada also attended the commemoration, recognizing the contribution of women in the maritime industry and calling for greater progress towards equality.

In the media, TradeWinds recommended advice by leading women in shipping, during Splash247 focused on removing barriers for women in the maritime industry. JLA Media too presented voices from the industry. Safety4Sea asks the question: What needs to change to empower women in seafaring?

Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) celebrated women working in the maritime sector and underlined the importance of recruiting and retaining female employees. Elpi Petraki, President of WISTA International, explained that through committed collaboration, real change can be achieved for all.

Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, CEO of Tototheo Maritime and Petraki’s immediate predecessor as President of WISTA International, emphasized the role of social awareness in education and training in the diverse maritime industry.

Elsewhere Sinikka Hartonen, General Secretary of A sea, pointed out that a change is taking place and career opportunities in seafaring are becoming a matter of gender neutrality. These observations found their echo current thoughts by Eleni Polychronopoulou, President of METIS Cyberspace Technology, on the cultural shifts in the maritime industry leading to the emergence of more female leaders.

As the industry marks this important day on the calendar, it is united in its commitment to accelerating change, promoting diversity and realizing gender equality.

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